“The Plaintiff Clearly Brought this Suit Without Reading the Fucking Bill of Rights”: The Onion Makes a Statement about Free Speech That I’d Like to See Come from the Real Supreme Court.

In the latest Onion send up of the Supreme Court (I’m particularly fond of Supreme Court Rules Death Penalty is ‘Totally Badass’), they’ve managed to strike a resounding kernel of truth. In Supreme Court Upholds Freedom of Speech in Obscenity-Filled Ruling, amidst the curse words and vulgarities, there is a strikingly simple message–one that I whole-heartedly endorse–about free speech and what the First Amendment means. That message is, “it means what it says.”

An excerpt from the “opinion”:

Second favorite line: From “Justice Stevens”:

I’m beginning to wonder if you really understand what ‘abridging the freedom of speech’ means at all,” said Stevens, a 34-year veteran of the court known for his often-nuanced interpretations of the First Amendment. “I’m also wondering whether you and your fat-faced plaintiffs over there need to have some respect for constitutionally protected expression fucked into your empty hick skulls.”

Vulgar, crass, and abusive. But damn true and damn funny.

I get the feeling that, somewhere in the back of Justice Hugo Black’s head, he always wanted to write this opinion. Instead, using a little more tact, he once said nearly the same thing:

Certainly the First Amendment’s language leaves no room for inference that abridgments of speech and press can be made just because they are slight. That Amendment provides, in simple words, that ‘Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.’ I read ‘no law… abridging’ to mean no law abridging. The First Amendment, which is the supreme law of the land, has thus fixed its own value on freedom of speech and press by putting these freedoms wholly ‘beyond the reach’ of federal power to abridge. No other provision of the Constitution purports to dilute the scope of these unequivocal commands of the First Amendment. Consequently, I do not believe that any federal agencies, including Congress and this Court, have power or authority to subordinate speech and press to what they think are ‘more important interests.’ The contrary notion is, in my judgment, court-made not Constitution-made.

– Smith v. California, 361 U.S. 147 (1959) (Black, J., Concurring).

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This entry was posted in Fun Stuff, Law/Legal theory, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “The Plaintiff Clearly Brought this Suit Without Reading the Fucking Bill of Rights”: The Onion Makes a Statement about Free Speech That I’d Like to See Come from the Real Supreme Court.

  1. Andy says:

    My new favorite saying: fucked five ways from Fuddruckers.

    Gold.

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